homepage logo

Policy change not only in Florida

By Staff | Jun 23, 2020

To the editor:

Perhaps the most distressing statement in William Harvey’s letter to the editor published in the June 17 issue of the Island Reporter, which comments on my June 10 guest column (“The governor, the federal courts and the right to vote”), is the startling claim that “A reasonable person should know that if he or she commits a felony and is caught, the sentence upon conviction includes permanent forfeiture of his or her voting rights.”

What the letter writer thinks “every reasonable person should know” is now the policy in only three states (Iowa, Virginia and Kentucky) and even those are changing. The Democratic governors of Virginia and Kentucky are exercising their clemency power to restore voting rights, while the Republican governor of Iowa just this month signed legislation to change their constitution to provide for the automatic restoration of voting rights.

Perhaps the writer is a snowbird and not a Florida voter, or perhaps he was not present during the fall of 2018 when in the November election almost 5.2 million Florida voters (two-thirds of the electorate) changed our constitution to strengthen our democracy by restoring voting rights after completion of a sentence.

Howard L. Simon